Out & About: Hanover Church, Wider Community Gear Up for Thursday’s Disaster Relief Marathon

  • Nancy Vogele, interim pastor, displays some of the 248 quilts made since last September by volunteers at Our Savior Lutheran Church in Hanover, N.H., before the Sunday service, May 7, 2017. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Following the service at Our Savior Lutheran Church, from left, Dylan Budner, 13, Ruth Mayer, Michael Budner, 14, and Woody Graf, right, pack simple cloth backpacks, made by volunteers, with school supplies in Hanover, N.H., Sunday, May 7, 2017. The backpacks will be distributed to children in countries where, regardless of their ability to pay, they must provide their own supplies in order to attend school. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Valley News Calendar Editor
Saturday, May 13, 2017

Hanover — People just want to help.

That’s the simple reason why members of Our Savior Lutheran Church and the surrounding community make dozens of quilts and school and personal care kits each year for Lutheran World Relief.

“We get bad news on a daily basis and this is something that people do for just being kind to others,” said Millie Eastwood, of Quechee, a member of the church who helps organize the group. “They do this out of the goodness of their hearts and get nothing in response except the knowledge that they’ve done something for someone else.”

The quilting group was formed in the 1980s and its members made 15 quilts a year for the Disaster Relief Quilting program until 2004, when the group decided to try to make 50 in honor of the church’s 50th anniversary, said Susan Ferraro, parish administrator at the church.

That December, the Indian Ocean tsunami hit and the group reached out to the wider community. “People were really asking what they could do ... to make a difference,” Ferraro, of West Lebanon said. “They want to do something other than send money.”

The church hosted a marathon quilting day, which lasted 12 hours and produced 32 quilts, according to the Disaster Relief Quilting page on the church’s website.

The quilting marathon was so well attended that the group decided to keep hosting them. The group has made more than 3,000 quilts since it was started. “These are going to people that have nothing, or next to nothing,” Eastman said. “They’re basic quilts, they’re not the kind you would see in a quilt show. They’re very much appreciated by the people who get them.”

A few years ago, the school and personal care kits were added to the mix. Volunteers sew drawstring backpacks and then fill each with supplies, said Wendy Manganiello, of Norwich, a church member who also helps organize the group. They started out doing 50 and “now we’re up to 200,” she said. “It’s a community effort.” The quilts and kits the volunteers have made have gone to Lutheran World Relief efforts in Haiti, Peru, Angola, Georgia, Mali and Nicaragua.

There will be another quilting marathon, on Thursday, from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Volunteers don’t need to know how to sew — training and materials are provided.

“There’s plenty of work to do for anyone who wants to help,” Eastman said. “It’s a wonderful project. There’s so many good people.”

Completed kits and bath-sized bars of soap can be dropped off Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday by appointment, Thursday from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m.-noon. Instructions for the kits can be found at http://lwr.org/get-involved/build-kits-of-care and https://oslchanover.org/2017/05/04/make-a-kit-change-a-life/. For more information, call 603-643-3703, email info@oslchanover.org or visit https://oslchanover.org/.